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Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy is widely used to treat obstructive sleep apnea. In order for therapy to be effective, people with sleep apnea who are prescribed a CPAP machine should use their device every time they sleep.

If you have sleep apnea, you may be wondering if it’s possible to keep up with CPAP therapy while traveling. Standard CPAP machines are a little bulky to use on the road, but the good news is that there are plenty of portable CPAP machines that are purpose-built for taking on vacation. These travel CPAP machines tend to be smaller and often include features like waterless humidification, self-drying modes, and backup battery compatibility.

We’ll run through our picks for the best travel CPAP machines, laying out their pros and cons and which types of travelers could benefit from each. We’ll also discuss how to choose a travel CPAP device and share tips for traveling with a CPAP machine, whether you’re camping, flying, or otherwise off the grid. If you’re looking to learn more about CPAP, check out our guide to the best CPAP machines.

What’s the Best Travel CPAP Machine?

Unofficially considered the gold standard among travel CPAP machines, the ResMed AirMini contains multiple features optimized for travel, yet it still performs on par with standard CPAP machines.

In-Depth Reviews

With a small footprint and streamlined design, the ResMed AirMini is an optimal CPAP device for travel. It’s packed with plenty of features to benefit CPAP users without the bulk of a larger machine.

  • Pros

    1. AutoSet feature provides real-time pressure adjustments

    2. Includes a waterless humidifier

    3. Smartphone app tracks therapy usage data to meet compliance requirements

  • Cons

    1. Higher price-point

    2. Only compatible with certain ResMed masks and tubing unless you purchase a separate adapter




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Weighing 10 ounces and with a small 20-watt AC power cord, the ResMed AirMini is a compact device that should easily fit into your travel bag. In addition to use on business trips and camping, this portable CPAP can be used on airplanes since it is FAA-approved for in-flight use.

What Does It Do?

The device automatically adjusts pressure based on your breathing, which may be beneficial for those who haven’t had success with standard CPAP machines. The ResMed AirMini also features AutoRamp technology. This helps you fall asleep by starting at a lower pressure and then automatically increasing to your designated setting once you’ve fallen asleep. The ResMed AirMini app allows you to track your sleep data and monitor up to 30 days worth of data. The app also detects mask leaks, helping to ensure that you stay CPAP-compliant.

Who It’s Best for

With ActiveAir technology, the ResMed AirMini’s operating sound is 25 to 27 decibels, which is quieter than a whisper. Its design decreases the likeliness of disturbing others while traveling. The ResMed AirMini’s HumidX offers the same humidifying benefits as standard CPAP machines, such as preventing a sore throat or dry nose, but doesn’t require water. As such, there’s no need for additional parts. Vented air is achieved by attaching a quarter-sized piece of material to the mask’s tubing.

The ResMed AirMini is compatible with the AirFit P10 Nasal Pillow, the F20 Full Face Mask, or the F30 Full Face Mask. ResMed HumidX cartridges should be replaced every 30 days and are only compatible with the N20 nasal mask and P10 nasal pillow mask. The ResMed AirMini is not returnable once opened or used, but it is backed by a 2-year manufacturer’s warranty.

The Breas Z2 Auto CPAP Machine is a perfect choice for CPAP users seeking the convenience of a lightweight, stowable device. The Z2 Auto CPAP is an excellent travel-friendly option with a quiet motor that won’t disturb travel companions.

  • Pros

    1. Convenient auto start and stop features

    2. Auto-adjusting pressure and ramp mode available

    3. Smartphone app for CPAP data tracking is compatible with iOS and Android

  • Cons

    1. Waterless humidification and rechargeable battery sold separately

    2. Noise-reducing Q-lite muffler requires an extra cleaning step




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The Breas Z2 Auto CPAP Machine has a compact profile that makes it easy to transport and stow in luggage. The price-point is noticeably lower than some other travel CPAP machines you’ll find on the market.

What Does It Do?

The machine offers auto-adjusting or fixed-pressure settings, so you can choose the option that feels most comfortable for your CPAP therapy. The Z-Breathe feature allows the machine to recognize your breathing pattern and reduce pressure accordingly upon exhalation. An auto start and stop feature enables the device to start delivering therapy once it detects that you’ve put on the mask and begun breathing. It automatically stops when you remove your mask or if it senses a leak.

Who It’s Best for

The Z2 Auto CPAP weighs 7.9 ounces and measures 6.3 inches long by 3.5 inches wide by 2 inches high, which is smaller and more lightweight compared to many other CPAP devices. Given its compact design, the machine is ideal for people who need CPAP therapy during travels. If you’re planning to travel off the grid, you can purchase an optional PowerShell, which provides 8 hours of therapy without the need for a power cord. The machine has a quiet motor, so it’s less likely to disturb you and those nearby. The device is also FAA-compliant for travelers who plan to bring it on a plane.

The Z2 Auto CPAP receives free shipping if you order through The Sleep Doctor. The machine is also backed by a 2-year manufacturer’s warranty.

The Transcend Micro Auto-CPAP Machine is a high-performance CPAP machine with a slew of features to help you sleep comfortably. The device is also exceptionally light and compact, making it a great option for frequent travelers.

  • Pros

    1. Includes auto-adjusting and ramping technology

    2. Drying mode makes it easier to keep your mask and hose clean

    3. Comes with tubing

  • Cons

    1. WhisperSoft muffler kit is an additional component to pack and clean

    2. Portable battery and waterless humidification not included




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Those who need to invest in a CPAP machine should expect to spend a decent amount of money on their purchase. While the Transcend Micro Auto-CPAP Machine isn’t exactly cheap, the device is more affordable than the vast majority of its competitors. Weighing less than half a pound and measuring less than 4 inches wide, the machine is also ideal for traveling — though it’s perfectly functional in your bedroom, as well.

What Does It Do?

The Transcend Micro Auto-CPAP can be programmed for pressure levels ranging from 4 to 20 cmH20. The machine will automatically adjust pressure delivery based on your breathing patterns, making it a good choice for people who need higher pressure when breathing in and lower pressure when exhaling. An auto-ramp feature gradually increases pressure levels as your therapy begins. You can also program the machine for “drying mode” to decrease condensation and minimize rainout, which can cause congestion. The device will function at altitudes up to 8,000 feet.

Who It’s Best for

The Micro Auto-CPAP lives up to its name as a CPAP machine suitable for therapy whether you’re in your bedroom or on the road. It’s lightweight and compact enough to fit in your luggage without taking up too much space, and should work properly when you’re mid-flight. The automatic adjustment and ramp features are beneficial if you struggle with a fixed pressure setting. Those who frequently feel congested after CPAP therapy should also find relief thanks to the drying mode option.

The Transcend Micro Auto-CPAP qualifies for free shipping when you order from The Sleep Doctor. The device is backed by a 30-night trial period and a 2-year manufacturer’s warranty.

Why Should You Use a Portable CPAP Machine?

Portable CPAP machines are useful when sleeping away from home. Typically smaller than standard at-home models, these machines often have features like waterless humidifiers that make for easier use on the go. 

Despite their advantages, portable CPAP devices are not intended for long-term use, and they should not be considered a replacement for a home CPAP machine designed for everyday therapy. Additionally, they can be expensive, they aren’t always covered by insurance, and they may not work with your preexisting accessories.

What to Consider in a Travel CPAP Machine

There’s a lot to consider when buying a travel CPAP machine, ranging from features and usability to how the machine works with your other CPAP equipment.

Your doctor can help you find a travel CPAP machine that’s compatible with your personalized therapy settings. Once you purchase a machine, they can help troubleshoot any comfort issues that arise to ensure you continue to benefit from nightly therapy while on the road.

Machine Type

Many travel CPAP devices are equipped to provide both CPAP therapy and automatic positive airway pressure (APAP) therapy. Whereas standard fixed-pressure CPAP machines deliver air at the same pressure throughout the night, APAP devices use sensors and algorithms to adjust pressure levels based on breathing patterns.

Most travel CPAP machines are built to be sturdy and robust, but the best CPAP machine for your vacation depends on your mode of travel. Consider factors like luggage space, whether you’ll have access to electricity, and whether the machine is compatible with your mask, tubing, and other accessories.

Pressure Range and Noise Level

The standard pressure settings for most people prescribed CPAP or APAP therapy fall between 4 and 20 centimeters of water pressure (cm H2O), and most travel machines are equipped to handle this. The machine will be calibrated based on your prescription, either with a fixed CPAP pressure or a set range for APAP therapy.

As with a regular CPAP machine, you’ll want to look for a quiet device, especially if you’re staying in shared accommodations. Aim for a machine with a sound level of less than 30 decibels, which is about the same as a whisper.

Features and Technology

Most travel CPAP machines track data and display it in a smartphone app so that users can meet insurance requirements and monitor therapy progress

Other optional features that are nice to have in a travel CPAP machine include pressure ramping and heated tubing. A pressure ramp makes it easier to fall asleep by starting therapy at a lower pressure and gradually increasing it as you drift off. Heated tubing helps prevent condensation from forming in the hose if you use a humidifier.

Recalls and Warranties

Most CPAP machines come with a warranty to protect consumers against manufacturing and workmanship defects. Read the terms carefully, because certain actions such as using an ozone cleaner may void the warranty. It’s also important to stay up to date on product recalls, which are issued when the manufacturer detects something potentially dangerous with the machine.

What Accessories Are Available for a Travel CPAP Machine?

Travel CPAP machines require many of the same accessories as regular CPAP machines, including a CPAP mask, tubing, and air filters. Many travelers prefer to use slim tubing, which is easier to pack. Be sure to verify mask and hose compatibility, as some travel machines require specific hose or mask models or additional fit kits.

You may also choose to purchase travel-specific accessories like external batteries and waterless humidifiers. Like other CPAP accessories, be sure to check compatibility with your machine before buying.

External BatteriesExternal batteries are especially helpful when camping. Usually sold separately from the CPAP device, the most common type is rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, which are akin to a larger version of a smartphone battery.
Waterless HumidifiersA standard CPAP humidifier with a water chamber is bulky and inconvenient to pack. That’s why most travel CPAP machines use a waterless humidification system, also known as a heat and moisture exchanger (HME).

HMEs attach between the CPAP hose and mask and recycle the moisture from the user’s exhaled air into the air inhaled during the next breath.
Travel BagA dedicated travel bag for your CPAP machine can help you keep all the accessories together in one place.

Where Can You Buy a Travel CPAP Machine? 

Travel CPAP machines are widely available through online retailers, brick-and-mortar stores, and sleep clinics. As with regular CPAP machines, they can only be sold through an authorized medical equipment provider, and you’ll need to provide a prescription.

Online stores generally offer a greater selection and lower prices. If you prefer to see for yourself how big the machine is before buying it, you may prefer buying in person.

Pricing and Insurance Coverage

The average cost of a portable CPAP machine ranges between $800 and $1,200, though you may be able to find some cheaper budget models. Machines with special features are usually priced higher.

Insurance coverage for travel CPAP machines depends on the carrier. If you already use your insurance for a regular CPAP machine, the plan might not cover a second one. For example, Medicare only covers the cost of a replacement CPAP machine if the first one is lost, stolen, damaged, or more than 5 years old.

Tips for Traveling With a CPAP Machine

Although a travel CPAP machine is specifically designed for portability, there are different factors to consider depending on your mode of transport. You may find it helpful to make a list of everything you need to bring.

Flying With a CPAP Machine

In the U.S., a CPAP machine can be carried on an airplane and doesn’t count toward luggage allowance as long as it’s packed in its own separate bag. Before you go, remember to empty your humidifier’s water chamber. You can bring distilled water in your checked baggage, or in small bottles as part of your carry-on liquids allowance. Lithium batteries must be packed in your carry-on baggage.

You’ll need to take the CPAP machine out of the bag to put it through the X-ray scanners at security, but you’re allowed to place it in a clear plastic bag to keep it clean. We recommend bringing your prescription or a doctor’s note to show to the security staff if needed.

To use your CPAP machine during the flight, you’ll need to provide a certificate stating that it has been approved for in-flight use by the Federal Aviation Administration. Some airlines may request that you inform them several days prior to the flight. Air travel compliance documentation may be available for download on the machine manufacturer’s website. 

Check the user guide to make sure it’s OK to plug the machine into the plane’s power port. Avoid using the humidifier, as the water can spill during turbulence.

For international travel, remember to check if your CPAP machine works in other countries, and bring an adapter or a converter as applicable. Keep a copy of your prescription on hand in case you need replacement parts while abroad. 

Camping With a CPAP Machine

If you plan to bring your CPAP machine on a camping trip, it’s important to ensure that you have uninterrupted access to a power supply. While some campsites have electrical hookups, you may need an inverter or a converter depending on the power source. If your campground doesn’t have electrical outlets or you plan on backpacking off the grid, a portable battery pack can help power your CPAP device on days when you don’t have access to electricity. 

Hikers should check their CPAP machine’s user guide for the maximum operating altitude. Most machines work well up to 8,500 feet above sea level, but they may require special adjustments after that.

Dive Deeper: In-Depth CPAP Guides

If you’re looking for additional CPAP supplies besides a travel machine, look no further. Our team broke down the best CPAP products into a series of convenient guides.

Data-Driven Results You Can Trust

Our team of qualified sleep experts has a wealth of experience evaluating sleep products, and we employ a stringent filtering process to determine our top picks.

Every CPAP user has unique needs. When evaluating travel CPAP machines, we ranked models based on their features, brand reliability, and user reviews. We also paid special attention to travel-specific factors like portability and ease of use.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you travel with a CPAP machine?

Traveling with a CPAP machine can look different depending on whether you’re flying, camping, or driving your RV. Many travelers find that it’s easiest to use a smaller CPAP machine and bring accessories such as a travel bag, CPAP wipes, portable batteries, and a waterless humidifier.

Can a travel CPAP machine work as a primary CPAP machine?

Most experts recommend using your travel CPAP machine only for travel, and using a standard CPAP machine for regular use. Although travel CPAP models continue to improve, some features such as waterless humidification may not perform on par with regular CPAP machines.

Do you need a prescription for a portable CPAP machine?

Like home CPAP machines, travel CPAP models are considered Class II medical devices and require a prescription for purchase.

Can you buy a travel CPAP machine online?

Many online suppliers sell travel CPAP machines. Be sure to buy from an authorized retailer who asks for a copy of your prescription.

How do you clean a portable CPAP machine?

Cleaning a portable CPAP machine is similar to cleaning a regular CPAP machine. However, if you’re using your CPAP machine while on a plane or when camping, you may need to pack CPAP wipes, distilled water, or other cleaning supplies.

With the machine unplugged, take it apart and remove the waterless humidifier and sound muffler, if applicable. Clean the mask and tubing connector daily using warm water, mild soap, and a soft brush. Once a week, wipe down the machine and soak and clean the tubing. Always rinse and air dry all the parts before reassembling.

Waterless humidifiers and disposable filters should not be washed. Instead, they need to be replaced on a regular basis. You should also replace any parts that are cracked or otherwise damaged. Always check the user guide for instructions specific to your machine.

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